Sustainability

Sustainability

At IRT, we believe that operating multifamily real estate can be conducted with a conscious regard for the environment and wider society while mutually benefiting our residents, investors, employees and the communities we serve. We seek to adopt policies and enact practices which are sustainable and socially responsible.

  • Water Conservation

    We recognize the growing importance of water conservation. IRT is continually upgrading fixtures in apartment homes and in common areas, especially low flow shower heads and aerators. IRT works with an energy billing company to identify potential leaks immediately and plans to implement dye testing to identify plumbing leaks as soon as possible. IRT encourages sites to use native landscaping where possible to reduce watering and irrigation.

  • Energy Management

    Managing energy consumption and implementing energy conservation measures aligns with our objective to provide the greatest benefit to our residents. We use Energy Star Portfolio Manager to monitor and benchmark energy usage of our common and resident spaces in some cities. IRT is actively replacing outdated appliances with more energy efficient models at all of its properties. IRT will be tracking effective CO2 reduction from these improvements. IRT initiated an energy audit program in 2019 to identify opportunities to reduce consumption throughout the portfolio.

  • Lighting Improvements

    IRT implemented 20 interior and exterior LED lighting retrofits, spending over $300,000, in 2018 and has plans to undertake 24 projects with $460,000 budgeted in 2019. The KWH reduction is expected to be over 100,000 KWH per year, the equivalent of over 70 metric tons of CO2. IRT evaluates projects based on the most attractive economic and environmental outcomes. IRT also encourages residents to take advantage of in-unit LED lighting programs offered by some municipalities. Lighting improvements conserve resources, improve energy efficiency and provide improved lighting quality that supports healthy and productive indoor environments for our residents.

  • Reduced Consumption

    Paperless Initiatives have taken off at IRT and will continue to gain traction in future years. Contract signing and work orders are increasingly completed without paper, and we are advancing towards 100% paperless leasing. IRT encourages its vendors to submit invoices electronically. Additionally, most resident communication is done through electronic mail.

    IRT relocated its Philadelphia headquarters to LEED Silver and Energy Star certified office building in 2019. The location offers incredible access to public transportation for employees and guests. Our office space includes green features such as a paper and electronics recycling program, lighting motion sensors, high efficiency HVAC with individual controls, recycled content paper products, reusable cups and dishes and duplex default printing.

    IRT is rolling out its “Office Checklist" for all of our leasing center and corporate office locations. The goal of the checklist is to increase energy awareness by optimizing lighting, electric usage and thermal settings. The checklist also educates staff on how to make responsible choices when selecting supplies and cleaning products.

  • Waste Management

    IRT offers recycling programs at most of its communities. Many communities also have doorstep ‘valet trash’ recycling pickup which has increased participation.

  • Transportation, Air Quality, Health & Wellness

    Many IRT communities are located within walking distance to public transportation. Bicycle racks and storage are available across the portfolio. Some IRT communities have no smoking policies or designated smoking areas. IRT communities offer green spaces, trail access and fitness centers as well as community gathering areas with refreshments for the health and well-being of our residents.

  • Employee Engagement

    IRT views employee engagement and employee appreciation as keys to our success. By having a population of employees who understand their efforts will be appreciated and recognized, and their voices and opinions will be heard, we will increase their sense of purpose and they will be motivated to give their very best each and every day.

    We perform company-wide Engagement Surveys throughout the year and the feedback is meticulously reviewed. Results are shared throughout the organization, and IRT relays staff feedback and information to stay current and evolve the employment experience for everyone.

    93% of our Associates say IRT is a great place to work.
    91% of our Associates would confidently refer employment with us to friend or colleague.
    85% of our Associates say they feel valued working for us.

    Annually, the company hosts appreciation events and recognizes accomplishments in many ways.

    Service Appreciation Week
    Company-wide Sprit Week
    Employee “Shout Outs” on our intranet site
    Monthly, quarterly and annual performance recognition awards

  • Education, Training & Development

    We encourage professional development throughout the organization which in turn increases employee effectiveness, expands the likelihood of adaptability, and increases the potential for creative ideas.

    With over 450 team members at IRT, we are committed to providing a resource to enhance the education of our associates in a streamlined environment to get the team members up to speed in their respective role. That resource, IRT University houses over 300 On-Demand Courses, over 20 Monthly Virtual Webinar Trainings, and Quarterly Instructor Led classroom trainings focused on continuing education.

    In 2019, we expanded our Learning and Development department from a team of 2 to 5. The Learning and Development department works closely with other departments to develop content for IRT University and provides on-site training to team members across all regions.

    In 2019, we rolled out a 90-day new associate training plan to ensure that all new team members are given the opportunity to get their career off to a satisfying and productive start.

    In 2019, we introduced a new Maintenance Training Platform that not only consists of simulation training, but also on-site hands on training to continuing learning new skills to provide top notch customer service, while assisting in their overall career development.

    We define education benefits and guidelines under which our team members may receive financial assistance for certifications and continued education. Our mission is to provide financial support to all employees who would like to advance their skillset and knowledge.

    We host company-wide Lunch & Learns.

    We utilize Performance & Goal Management Software to ensure frequent performance reviews and feedback to our associates.

  • Diversity & Inclusion

    Diversity is not just a word at IRT, it’s part of our foundation, culture and identity. We trust our business can be a podium for universal inclusion and equality, where feelings of shared belonging and shared commitment can prosper. IRT celebrates diversity because at our core, and we believe it advances humanity and truly unites us with our co-workers and the residents we serve.

    We feel diversity of gender, race, and age are an important factor to our success. Diversity provides unique insights and a more global perspective to everyday questions. IRT is proud to have a diverse workforce in place.

  • IRT WOMEN

    IRT is proud to support its female employees through a program known as IRT WOMEN, which was created to build a community of diverse, professional IRT women. The mission of IRT WOMEN is to create a formal mentor platform for IRT Women and provide a network for advancing their individual and professional needs.

  • Compensation & Employee Benefits

    IRT works to ensure that each team member receives a comprehensive employee benefits package consisting of high-quality health benefits and a retirement savings plan. Our current employee benefits include, but are not limited to:

    • Medical, Prescription Drug, Dental and Vision Plans
    • Health Savings Account (HSA)
    • Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Income
    • Life Insurance
    • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
    • Paid Time Off
    • Adoption Benefits
    • 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan
  • Pay Equity

    IRT feels pay equality regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, or disability is one of the many social responsibilities we have as an employer. Integrating fair, equal, and non-discriminatory compensation rewards is a principle focus, and a customary business practice within our organization. At IRT, we ensure there is clear and consistent criteria in place to reduce bias in performance reviews and pay decisions.

  • Feeling “At Home”

    IRT puts residents at the center of everything we do, because we believe the satisfaction and happiness of our residents are the foundation of our business model and our long-term success. As a result, IRT’s policies, procedures, and processes are designed to support our goal of creating exceptional living experiences for residents. From package delivery acceptance to the care and investment we put into the design and maintenance of beautiful landscape features, we are focused every day on making our residents’ lives a little easier and a little more pleasant. We want our residents to genuinely feel “at home” living with us.

  • Enhanced Resident Amenities

    As part of our ongoing capital improvement and value-add projects, IRT has made the creation of new and enhancement of existing resident amenities and common areas a core focus. Increasingly our residents are health-conscious. IRT is mindful of this when designing and investing in health, fitness and recreation features at our communities. This includes significant projects to deliver improved “foot friendly” swimming pool decks and stylish new pool furniture, open playgrounds for kids to get out and play, pleasantly designed and scenic walking paths, and modern on-site fitness centers.

    IRT is very pet-friendly because we understand how important animal companions are to many of our residents. With that in mind, many IRT communities provide dedicated dog parks for exercise and play, custom-designed pet grooming facilities, and even treats for pets who come along when their humans visit our community offices or utilize our shared work spaces and internet cafes. As much as we focus on the physical beauty and usefulness of community spaces and amenities, our teams are genuinely interested in and engage with our residents. Many residents are on a first-name basis with our community team and will stop by the office for a coffee, to chat, or to just say “hello”.

  • Resident and Community Events

    We love to see residents interact and get to know one another when they take advantage of amenities like our spacious grilling stations and our friendly swimming pools and common areas. While some residents have lived with IRT for years and know each other well, some residents are newer to the area or to our community. Whatever their story, IRT loves to facilitate neighbors getting to know one another and enjoying the features of our beautiful communities together. Our community teams regularly sponsor resident activities and events such as holiday parties, theme nights (Taco Tuesday, anyone?), after-work wind down gatherings, and food truck events. Residents are also included in many of IRT’s charitable projects, from food drives to fundraising for local charitable organizations.

  • Robust Maintenance Program

    Our community teams pay special attention to ensuring residents always feel comfortable and secure. This is achieved with a robust and systematic preventative maintenance program and with rapid responses to any service-related issue. Our service team is present at our communities throughout the day including Saturdays, and is available on-call for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We keep a robust inventory of tools and parts available on-site to help ensure the fastest and most responsive service possible.

    IRT employees a robust online and in-person training and skills certification program for our service teams. This ensures they have the skills required to provide the highest level of service for our residents and stay current on new developments. Our service teams also include externally certified specialists in areas such as heating and air conditioning.

  • Resident Satisfaction Surveys

    IRT does not take anything for granted when it comes to our residents and how they experience living with us. As much as we strive to make residents feel at home and to make every community as friendly and enjoyable as possible, we believe we can always do better. IRT surveys residents regularly to see how we’re doing and to provide them an additional opportunity to tell us how we can improve their living experience.

    One of the most important elements of any resident’s experience is our responsiveness to service requests. After every service requested is completed residents receive a post-service survey to validate the timeliness and quality of the work performed, as well as to gauge the resident’s satisfaction with the service and with our team. If there are any questions or concerns whether service-related or otherwise, our teams personally engage with residents to provide answers, understand concerns, and to find opportunities to improve our performance or enhance our residents’ experience.

  • Ethics, Integrity and Code of Conduct

    IRT holds all team members, and their interpersonal interactions and business decisions, to the highest level of ethical standards. We educate all employees on acceptable corporate standards, as we frequently reaffirm our mission of absolute legal compliance, respect in the workplace, protection of company property, and overall employee professionalism. We conduct online and in-person training, and provide staff access to our 3rd party managed Confidential Ethics / Whistleblower Hotline. In addition, we maintain a code of ethics for our directors, officers and employees which reflects and reinforces our commitment to integrity in the conduct of our business.

  • Vendor Code of Conduct

    IRT expects our partners and vendors to conduct business and affairs in accordance with the highest standards of ethical conduct and in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. To ensure this, we have adopted a Vendor Code of Conduct with which all of our suppliers and contractors are expected to comply.

  • Charity and Philanthropy

    IRT has something more to contribute to society than great places to reside. IRT supports charities which fight against poverty and homelessness, such as (i) Philadelphia based Project HOME, which seeks to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in Center City, our corporate headquarters, (ii) Shelters to Shutters, a 501c3 organization that assists situational homeless individuals by teaming them up with companies like IRT, to provide employment and discounted housing, and (iii) Boys & Girls Club of America, whose mission it is to enable young people top reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. In addition, IRT encourages employees to work with similar charities located in the heart of the communities we serve.

  • Board Leadership & Diversity

    Each member of our Board brings a unique set of experiences, qualifications, attributes and skills, drawing on their variance in age, gender, race, politics and past experiences in the private and public sector to help further IRT’s strategic goals. Our board conducts an annual self-assessment of the performance of the Board and its committees and individual directors confirm whether the current Board leadership and structure continue to be optimal for IRT.

  • Governance Practices

    Our Board’s Corporate Governance Guidelines reflect a strong commitment to the strength and success of the Company. In addition, our Board has implemented many best in practice governance policies, which include:

    • Our directors are elected annually by shareholders.
    • A Lead Independent Director is appointed annually when the positions of Chair and CEO are combined.
    • Our Board is comprised of a majority of independent directors, who meet regularly in executive sessions without the presence of the Company’s executive officers.
    • Our three standing Board committees, the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, are solely comprised of independent directors.
    • The Board provides effective strategic oversight of the risk management activities of the company.
    • Our Board engages in regular succession planning.
    • Our directors may not serve on more than two other public company boards without the Board’s consent. None of our directors currently serve on more than one other public company board.
    • Our Insider Trading Policy includes a prohibition against hedging of Company shares without the approval of independent directors.
    • We do not have a shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill.
  • Shareholder Engagement

    We believe that strong corporate governance should include regular engagement with our shareholders to enable us to understand and respond to shareholder concerns. Our senior management team, including our Chair and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer and members of our Investor Relations team, maintain regular contact with a broad base of investors, including through quarterly earnings calls, individual meetings and other channels for communication, to understand their concerns. In 2018, senior management met with approximately 64 institutional investors and 13 research analysts, conducted 14 investor property tours, and attended four investor conferences.

  • Stock Ownership Requirements

    We have adopted stock ownership requirements for our non-employee Directors and certain executive officers. The ownership requirements are to be satisfied six years after the later of (i) their election or appointment as a director or executive officer, as applicable, or (ii) April 1, 2018, the date we adopted the requirements. The requirements provide for a minimum beneficial ownership target of the Company’s common shares, as a multiple of the annual cash retainer, in the case of non-employee Directors, and base salary, in the case of executive officers.